Trying to make mom and pop proud
- Rep Power
Please review my argument essay! Thank you!
The following appeared as a letter to the editor of a local newspaper.
"Five years ago, we residents of Morganton voted to keep the publicly owned piece of land known as Scott Woods in a natural, undeveloped state. Our thinking was that, if no shopping centers or houses were built there, Scott Woods would continue to benefit our community as a natural parkland. But now that our town planning committee wants to purchase the land and build a school there, we should reconsider this issue. If the land becomes a school site, no shopping centers or houses can be built there, and substantial acreage would probably be devoted to athletic fields. There would be no better use of land in our community than this, since a large majority of our children participate in sports, and Scott Woods would continue to benefit our community as natural parkland."
This argument is problematic on multiple levels. First, it is not clear why shopping centers and houses cannot be built on Scott Woods if it becomes a school site. If there is some legal reason, then the author of the letter should state that is the case. Second, poor reasoning is used to defend Scott Woods' prospective transformation on the grounds that it may "continue to benefit [the] community as natural parkland." It is implied that because substantial acreage would (probably) be devoted to athletic fields, Scott Woods would still enjoy natural parkland. But athletic fields are by definition unnatural and may vary considerably in their level of agreeability to nature: they could, for example, be grass soccer fields, turf football fields, dirt baseball diamonds, or clay tennis courts. The author, to the detriment of the argument, never specifies.
The author is also unsure whether the rationale for transforming Scott Woods (athletic fields) will even come to fruition (the author's uncertainty is indicated by the word "probably"). Since the argument rests on a single rationale (that Scott Woods ought to continue to benefit the community as natural parkland), then it is badly weakened by uncertainty over said rationale and would be proportionately strengthened by certainty.
The author also concludes the argument weakly, asserting that "there would be no better use of land in [the] community than [building athletic fields], since a large majority of [the] children participate in sports." It's fallacious to conclude that because a large majority of children participate in sports, then there would be no better use of the land in the community. Perhaps an even larger majority of the children prefer playing in natural parkland to playing sports, or perhaps a large majority of the entire population, children included, prefer natural parkland to athletic fields. Moreover, natural parkland itself may also be equally conducive to certain sporting activities.
The author's argument would benefit well from evidence that legal protections would prevent the building of shopping centers or houses at Scott Woods, and from certainty both that substantial acreage would be devoted to athletic fields and that there truly is no better use for land in the community than the athletic fields.
- Rep Power
Hi Oatmeal Prince,
Overall, I see your essay is nice. you have covered almost all pointed needed. I cannot think of more.
However, you should write a separate introduction paragraph instead of going directly to analyzing fallacies. I would make your argument more cogent with a standard structure and longer (a important factor to get good mark)
And I do not think it's good to bring some phrases or words into parenthesis. You can definitely convey your idea without them.
I'm sorry that i do not have much time to examine your essay more carefully. Plus, my writing is still weak.
If you have time, please give some comments on my writing too. thanks
- Rep Power
The following appeared in a newsletter on nutrition and health.
'Although the multimineral Zorba pill was designed as a simple dietary supplement, a study of first-time ulcer patients who look Zorba suggests that Zorba actually helps prevent ulcers. The study showed that only 25 percent of those ulcer patients who took Zorba under a doctor's direction developed new ulcers, compared to a 75 percent recurrence rate among ulcer patients who did not take Zorba. Clearly, then, Zorba will be highly effective in preventing recurrent ulcers and if health experts inform the general public of this fact, many first-time ulcers can be prevented as well."
In the argument, the author asserts that although Zorba is designed as a simple dietary supplement, it is actually effective in preventing recurrent ulcers as well as prevent many first-time ulcers. The author cites a study to substantiate his contention. However, he completely fails to convince us about the relationship between taking Zorba and the lower rate of ulcer recurrence. In fact, his conclusion bases on several flaws in logical reasoning including citing ambiguous source of information, constructing hasty generalization and overlooking critical factors.
The first fallacy lies in the doubtful study cited by the author. There is no concrete information about the acutal number of patients who participated in the study. We know that in order to making a reliable conclusion, scientists have to conduct their study in serveral years with thousands of people envolve. In this study, if there is only a small group of people surveyed, the result thus would not representative for all cases of firt-time ulcers, and therefore does little to bolster the author’s conclusion.
In addition, even assume that the quantity of subjects of mentioned study is adequate, the statistic cited still presents a willowy evidence that lend no support to the argument. The author fails to inform us about the ratio between the number of patients who actually took Zorba and the number of patients who did not. What if the number of patients who took Zorba is far smaller than the number of remained people? If it is the case, it would definitely invalidate the author’s claim. Besides, it is entire possible that, those patients who did not have new ulcer in the time the study conducted may suffer, if not very grevious ulcer recurrence after that. The author must eliminate these posibilities before taking the statistic as a justifiable ground for his argument.
One more serious problem with this argument is that the author totally overlooks other crucial factors that may affect the study’s result. Perhaps, people who took Zorba aslo were ones who have stronger immune system or perhaps, those people lived in a more hygienic condition that render them invulnerable to another ulcer outburst. For other type of ulcers such as peptic ulcer, factors like foods and other substances that one consumes may exacerbate or reduce their ulcer. Before the author takes these factors into his view, I cannot blindly believe in his contention.
Finally, even if given that Zorba has a positive effect in preventing ulcer recurrence, it is too hasty of the author to draw a generalization that this peel may prevent the first-time ulcers. The author comfortably simply states the idea without giving any reliable information to substantiate it. As a result, this generalization even adduces me to cast more doubt on his argument.
In sum, while presenting his contention, the author commits a number of non sequiturs that render it unconvinving as it stands. In order to make the argument more cogent and reliable, the author needs to provide more information about the cited study. Also, he should take into account other factors that may affect the incidence of having ulcers as well as supply more evidence to substantiate the reasonable link between Zorba and its effect on preventing ulcers. Otherwise, I doubt that he is not a propaganda for Zorba brand.
Users Browsing this Thread
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)
By ruchia in forum GRE Analysis of an Argument
Last Post: 07-03-2008, 05:34 PM
By GmatRup in forum GMAT AWA
Last Post: 05-05-2008, 05:30 PM
By raza5680 in forum GRE Analysis of an Argument
Last Post: 10-18-2006, 08:39 AM
By goingfor1600 in forum GRE Analysis of an Argument
Last Post: 06-29-2006, 01:16 PM
By gmat-novice in forum GMAT AWA
Last Post: 04-28-2006, 06:52 AM
SEO by vBSEO ©2010, Crawlability, Inc.